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When you don’t know what to pray (a Timeless Truths blog post)

prayerHave you ever been at a loss for words? Perhaps something happened that left you utterly speechless … something so shocking, so bizarre, so devastating … or, even, so amazing. Whatever the case may be, when you are at a loss for words, what do you do? Well, if you’re like most people, you still feel a need to express yourself … somehow. You still feel like you need to somehow convey your feelings in some type of manner … even if it’s to just “get it off your chest” … somehow. Spiritually speaking, when something happens that you know you need to pray about … but can’t find the words to pray … there is an alternative. There is a way you can express exactly how you’re feeling, exactly what’s in your heart, and exactly the right words to say … even when you don’t know what to pray. Romans 8:22-28 The Message (MSG) tells us, “All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” So, the timeless truth we can take away from these verses is that all we need to do is make an attempt to pray … and the Holy Spirit will make it into an effective prayer to God since the Holy Spirit knows exactly what we are trying to say … even when we don’t know what to pray.

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When God closes a door He opens a window

Transition periods are not fun. However, when God gives you a new perspective, everything changes. Your spirit goes from feeling down and depressed to uplifted and hopeful. Such is the case with me at this stage of my life.

As I was in the process of finishing up writing Whispers to the soul, I was sensing in my own spirit that it was time for me to retire from writing books and “just” maintain a blog on my new website to keep the books “alive” to the public. I didn’t know what I would write on the blog – just that I was going to need to write “something” at least periodically. After all, I had done all the work writing all those books … and I didn’t want them to just fade away. I still wanted people to know they existed. I still wanted people to buy them. To read them. (Even if they only read sample chapters from them … even that would be fine with me … at least that would be something to know that my efforts weren’t all in vain.)

Then came this morning. I read a devotional and, after pondering it, God gave me a new perspective on my whole situation.

It wasn’t that I was going to be “just” writing a blog to keep my books alive. It wasn’t that I was going to be “stagnant” or going backwards or that I was going to have to try to come up with something more to write about the books that were already “out there” when there was really nothing left to write about. No. Instead, it was that I was actually going to be going forward. I was actually going to be allowed the privilege of writing a blog. I was actually being trusted by God to let the Holy Spirit lead me and guide me in knowing what to write and when and how … it was like a revelation. It was like God had trusted me to write all those books for Him, and now He was trusting me to take this next step of faith into the unknown – not knowing what the blog would look like, not knowing what exactly I would be writing about or how often… or, really, much of anything for specifics … just that this is what God was leading me to do next … for Him.

Then, realizing that it wasn’t really about keeping the books “alive” like I had originally thought. No. It was really about keeping my “voice” alive – about keeping the voice of all that the Holy Spirit put into me that needed to be shared with others alive. About continuing to let the Lord speak through me whatever He put on my heart to speak … just like with the books, but now, with the blog. But now, without all the pressure that comes with writing books and everything that goes along with it. But now, with freedom … freedom to just “speak.”

And so, here I go – just speaking what’s in my heart on this day – being led by the Holy Spirit to share my story with you in hopes that it will somehow inspire you to see things from a different perspective than you may have seen it before – a perspective that leads to you feeling the way I feel now – hopeful, nervous, and excited all at the same time. Not knowing what God has in store, but knowing – since it’s God – it’s gotta be something good.

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